Col. Lee Ellis

Lee_Ellis_2019_V3_Formal.jpgIn this episode, I discuss leadership lessons with Col. Lee Ellis. Col. Ellis is an accomplished man with a great military career that encompasses time as a POW at the infamous Hanoi Hilton. He has taken lessons learned from there and helped many organizations implement them for their own success. 

You can find out more about Col. Ellis, his books, and Leading with Honor here:

Web - www.LeadingWithHonor.com 

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/leonleeellis/

 

 

Earl Breon
Alright, listeners Welcome to this episode of the burden of command podcast. Today's guest is a very special guest, Colonel Lee Ellis Air Force retired. Colonel Ellis is president of leadership freedom LLC, which is a leadership and team development consulting and coaching company. Lee consults with fortune 500 senior executives in the areas of hiring, team building human performance, and succession planning is medium periods since including interviews on networks such as CNN, CBS This Morning, c span ABC World News and Fox News Channel. He is an accomplished author having written two very great books, one leading with honor leadership lessons from the Hanoi Hilton, and engage with honor building a culture of courageous accountability. If you'd like to learn more about Colonel Ellis and what he's doing, you can find him on the Internet at WWW dot leading with honor all one word.com. Colonel Ellis, thank you very much for your service. And thank you for being here today.

Col. Ellis
Well, thank you, Earl, good morning, good to be with you and hope you're having a great day.

Earl Breon
I'm having a fantastic day. And just to get things rolling I want to ask you the question, I lead off with all my guests the term burden of command, what does that mean to you?

Col. Ellis
Yes, that's a good question. Because it is so encompassing, it can be scary at times. But I think it's the price of leadership is that you have to own it. You have to own it, one to own all the pieces, the people and the mission, you got to accomplish the mission. But you also have to take care of the people, for lots of reasons. One is the right thing to do to they're the ones that are doing the work. And the better that they're working and feeling about their work, the more successful they're going to work and the better your organization and mission the accomplish is going to be. I think the first word is ownership, you got to see it that you own it. And that means that you have to accomplish the mission. But you should also plan to leave it in a better condition than you found. The day is changing world that's can be challenging, because sometimes just surviving day to day, and with the changes that are coming at us so rapidly, it puts us all in a scrambling mode. And we have to be able to get into the scrambling mode to keep up but we also at the same time have to be executing the day to day plan. And then we also probably have to be maintaining some stuff from the past too. So lot going on there for the leader.

Earl Breon
Well, and that's good. And that's the reason why I asked the question when I do is like you said burden or Command it's something that's going to mean a lot to a lot of different people. And and I'm glad to hear, hear your definition with your unique experiences. You know, for the listeners who aren't familiar with Colonel Ellis, he was one of the POW and the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War. And so you've had a very, very intimate first hand experience with leadership in tough times, right?

Col. Ellis
Yes, I did. Now the gut thing you got to understand is I learned so much by observation and experience of great leaders because I was never the leader. I was a junior ranking guy in the camp or not a camp but in the cellblock and pretty much in the camps, some camps, I was a junior guy, and the youngest guy, there were maybe one or two guys, it within three or four months, a major might have been three months younger than me. But otherwise, I was the youngest guy in the camp and junior ranking. So what I learned was from others, how they land what what they face, you're talking about the world command, they were being tortured, they're being beaten, they're put in isolation, much more often than anyone else. And yet they kept on leading and stayed true to their values. They bounced back. They were beaten down, but they bounced back and tipa leading to accomplish the mission of resisting the enemy and returning with honor.

Earl Breon
And you Okay, so you just said those three words there that, you know, people talk a lot about vision statements and goal setting, but return with honor, you know, for everything I've read, that was sort of your the end when I say your book about everyone that was in the camp, that was sort of their foundational mantra, right return? Yes, honor.

Col. Ellis
Yeah, you know, it started out as, and this was really you could put it our mission, our vision and our values. But it started out, resist survive return with honor. And then over the years, just the resisting and surviving became so so daily, that then it just kind of fell into return with honor, because we knew that that to return with honor, we had to resist, we had to survive. So it all boil down our mission, our vision, our values, because we definitely want to go home, but with honor. And so that was that was crucial for our situation.

Earl Breon
Now, one of the things that my business partner and I talked about when we come into an organization is the the sense of belonging, the more people feel like they belong, the more successful the organization is. Yeah. And a lot of people look at us like, Okay, this touchy feely, fluffy type stuff we want to move on. But that sense of belonging was very much a cornerstone of surviving. In the Hilton, right?

Col. Ellis
Yeah. Yes, it was. Connection, I write a lot about that. Now, I've done several blogs on that at this year already. But I have a chapter in the engaged with honor book called two chapters one is connecting based on personality, you got to manage people differently based on their natural behavior, style and their talents. So you manage Leila with a two by four upside the head, or you won't even get his attention. You manage Mary Ellis his wife was some kind words and give her some written instructions. And that works great. Of course, she doesn't conquer the mountain like I do, you know, she should have going to go through it around and over it somehow. We're different personalities. And so we have different talents, different work. The other connection, though, is connecting with the heart. And I think that's what you're talking about here. And it's so crucial. We did have those kind of connections in the Hilton for one thing, you know, when you're alone in a POW camp, and they're threatening you with war crimes trials, and you may never go home connection is so important. And to be connected with another human being who's friendly to you and who's not operating as a communist enemy was so important. So important. We are bond, you know, crisis makes you bond with people who are on your side. And we certainly did bond that way. The thing that I say and you mentioned were touchy feely, here's what we know. 40% of population is born, results oriented. mission focus 40% of world is born, relationship oriented, people focus. And so to be a great leader, though, you have to do both. Because if you don't connect with your people, if you don't relate to your people, if you don't listen to your people, if you don't affirm your people, their performance, their energy at work goes down. And some people think, well, it's a transaction, I pay you and you should come to work and do your best. Well, that's true. But the other part of that is human beings are complex, we have emotions, we have feelings, we have desires, that we want to be special, we want to accomplish some we want to have a purpose, we want to know that what we're doing counts. And if our leader doesn't connect for those, and let us know those kind of things, the energy is just not quite not ever the same. The the ingenuity is not the same, because there's no energy to solve the problems and make things better, because they don't care Anyway, my boss doesn't care, as long as I show them do my job, you don't care. But that connecting with the heart, which is the things we think that go with that would be listening, encouraging, affirming, giving positive feedback, giving, critiques, and help them develop, correcting them, of course, coaching them, where they need help supporting them, when they have obstacles that are above their pay grade, all those kind of things, let them know that you are very important to this organization, you're very important to me. And that brings into your into your fold a committed engaged employee, if you're looking at gallops research. So a higher percentage of the employees in America and around the world today are not fully engaged. About 20% of fully engaged and about 20% of gays. And then there's about 50% of they're not much engaged. And so, you know, as a leader, you got to own that, you know, that's your issue. And so how do you get them engaged, and the best way is for them to know that you care about them. That's the most important thing. It sounds touchy feely, but here's the good, the good news, all the results oriented people who think it's that you feeling it's going to get you better results, make you more money, and it's going to make a happier workplace for everybody. So hitch up your boots and go out and learn to affirm people learn to connect with people. You know, I coach people just on this every day. Of course I have to coach relationship people and how to be tough to

Earl Breon
well, right you need both right and that so I love between the two books. There's a lot of there's a lot of words dedicated to Admiral Stockdale, and how he kind of did everything he just talked about, you know, he was tough one yeah, be tough. He sacrificed when you need to be set. Be sacrificial. One of my favorite stories that has been told of him was the one where the guard caught caught one of the fellow inmates you know do it using your knocking system. And, and and if I understood the story, right when he came barging the door, like like, Stockdale hit him to take him off of his off of his cellmate. Right?

Col. Ellis
Yeah, I think I've heard that story, too. Yeah. So he was, he was just a great guy, very courageous and amazing courage. But you know, at the end, he said, the most important thing I learned in my POW experiences that we are brothers cheaper.

Earl Breon
Yeah. And I I like that, because the, you know, reading up on him and how he was a student of the stoic, and he's got one. The Epictetus says, men are not disturbed by things, but the view of which they take of them. And, and I thought that was such a powerful quote, to have in that environment. Because, you know, hearing your reading all of the stories of you know, you'd be locked in the small cell with someone for weeks at a time. And, you know, they may have like, just this nervous tic or whatever, that's driving you crazy. But that's their coping mechanism. And you have to learn how to deal with that, because that's how they're dealing with their situation. And that is critical. I

Col. Ellis
think it was. I was. Go ahead. No, I'm

Earl Breon
sorry. I was gonna say, I think that's critical, because we have a lot of that going on in our organizations today. And we don't have that, that grace to deal with it.

Col. Ellis
Yeah. Well, I'm just coming out with a new book, be out next fall, we're just finishing up right now. But you know, has to go through a process once it gets finished. So but it's a it's a about behavior, leadership is based around our leadership behavior, DNA assessment. And a big focus of that is learning to manage differences and relate to differences. Because you know, somebody who's very detailed and picky can drive you nuts. Because they're detailed picky about everything that's their shrug their strength is, they're very detailed, and they get it right. And they do the things that make her you know, when I'm flying from the US to Hong Kong or us to Singapore, or or Japan, not direct Singapore, we go fly from Atlanta to Narita and Tokyo. You know, that's a 14 hour flight. Those engines over the ocean man, those engines are turned in perfectly for hours and hours and hours, that whole airplane. And I'm so thankful for those people that are detailed in action, create it and get it right. Right. But some of those people, if you if you're around them all the time, you know, they drive me nuts. But the other side of that is I'm emotional. I'm loud, I'm talkative, has say about half things that go through my mind come out my mouth. And I mean, I have to work it throttling that back, say I'm the word now. But I can drive them nuts. So that's the whole idea of working together and appear Debbie, can we had to learn to accept someone as they were valued their strengths? And look over their struggles? Just overlook them? Because you're not going to make them change? they can they can work on it, like I'm working on some of mine. But I'll always be working on them. And I'll never get perfect compared to them.

Earl Breon
You know what I mean? Oh, yeah, I mean, I can identify I'm loud and country too. And, you know, I was raised by my grandfather, who was World War Two veteran, jumped out of planes over the European Theater. And as he always said, he was deaf in one ear and couldn't hear the other. So growing up with him, my normal speaking voice is like, Why are you shouting at me to other people? And so you're right, I have to, I almost have to feel like I'm whispering the talk at a normal tone to most people. So but but I like that what you just said there about, you know, being aware and working on it. You know, and that's the, that's the key factor when when we're talking to organizations is the number one thing that you can do to fix, you know, whether we're talking about unconscious bias, where there's racial sexual harassment issues in organization is, be aware of the cause, and be willing to fix it.

Earl Breon
Yeah, yeah, I,

Col. Ellis
you know, there are certain things that you just got to shut down and shut down quickly. And the way you do that you got a mindset, let's say, and, you know, I'll take my parents, you know, I grew up in segregation days, we're always around black people, and some of them are our closest friends, we loved him. But the culture was segregated. And so that's what they knew. And that's kind of what I knew until I got, you know, got to college. But once we saw the light, so to speak, we flip the switch, because we'd always loved him. So what do you problem loving black people, it was just as flip the switch on the the social, cultural things, we flipped that switch, and we knew it was right, and we did it, and we did it quickly. There. That's a mindset, a mindset, you can turn those around pretty quickly, sometimes. And natural behavior, though, like being detailed and organized and picky. Those things are kind of built into your DNA in your brain. And so you're always coaching yourself on those. And so what we like to do is help people learn to self code, you know, learn that once you become self aware, you can self coach, and you have to do that with some of those mindsets, too, because they'll keep popping up. And you have to just say, wait a minute, I've shut you down over there. That's not the way I'll see the world anymore.

Earl Breon
Yeah. Well, and and to, you know, there's that, that piece of finding, putting people in the right place to succeed, you know, that detail oriented person. You want them on detail oriented tasks, right? Yeah. So I'm not sure if you ever read the book of five rings. Of what it's called the book of five rings. It's a Japanese text, but

Col. Ellis
I haven't read I've read the five voices.

Earl Breon
Oh, I haven't read that one. So there we go. We'll have to

Col. Ellis
go. But no, they're good. They're good, but they're not gonna be as good as ours. Just

Earl Breon
know, and that's good. Oh, hey, no, I mean, I'm looking forward to it. I, I gotta get caught up with engage with honor, especially knowing that you got another coming out. But yeah, if you want a book of five rings, there's one of the books it's it's talking about? The way of the master carpenter. And in this way of the master carpenter, he says what sets a master carpenter apart is being able to look at all the different pieces of wood and know how to use them. Some words are perfect for the beam, some words are perfect for the mantels. Some words are perfect for nothing more than being the campfire at night. Yeah, if you know how to use them, your you can be a master carpenter. And I, I read that, now that this is the same thing with people. And I think this is what you're saying here is when you know your people and know how to use them. That's what sets apart a entry level leader from a master level leader.

Col. Ellis
No question about it. And you know, I think the book that you've read, tells a story, the time when I put the wrong guy in charge the United Way in the Air Force, it was called a Combined Federal Campaign. But it was like the United Way, part of United Way. And I put the wrong guy in charge, I put a guy who was a, you know, more of an engineer than a salesman, they were both really good instructor pilots, for me. So they both were good pilots. They were both top notch pilots. But the first one I put was like an engineer, and he wasn't a promoter, a sales guy. And so we didn't do very well, I go to stand up, briefing it every week, and this show the, you know, the, the the temperature gauge going up with how much money you group and race, you know, and you're supposed to go out the top. We never got to the top in my unit that year. And I was so embarrassed. And I realize I picked the wrong guys really good guy, but he wasn't a salesman. So the next year, I picked the guy who was much more of a promotional guy. And we blew it out very quickly. Just and that was my big lesson of how, you know, both gods are great instructor pilots, but they've sure we're not good salesman, when I'm was one on one.

Earl Breon
Right? And it just made a world of difference. I mean, like said to Greg, absolutely. Yeah.

Col. Ellis
So and then I've helped companies when hiring for sales organizations, and and IT organizations over the years and, you know, they're they're just certain qualities that you have about 80 to 90% of time, you have to have those qualities. There are a few people that are good salespeople without those, they do it in a systematic way. But most of the time, you know, they're pretty outgoing and spontaneous and all that sort of stuff.

Earl Breon
So full disclosure, I you know, I've quoted your book quite a bit in in some of the training we've done, I've encouraged people to pick it up. I think it's a great leading with honor, I think it's a great book. But but the whole experience, right, just the the kind of laboratory, if you will, that you all were in, in that experience, it seems to have generated some of the country's best leaders. I mean, your forward for leading with honor was written by the late great, john mccain. And it always intrigues me when I start talking about the things that worked in that environment. I hear. Yeah, but that's not going to work here. How do you answer? If you run it, then how do you overcome that when people think? Sure, it could work in a in a prison in the middle of Vietnam, but it's not going to work in my cushy, comfortable corporate world.

Col. Ellis
Well, true principles. Yeah, two principles work everywhere. They work at home and your family life, they work at work, they're working a POW camp. So listening to others before you make important decisions, getting good feedback, getting everybody's input, man that works, the POW leaders, you know, they wanted, they never been POW leaders before and they wanted, if they could talk to somebody, they wanted to vet their ideas with them, because I knew there might be something they weren't seeing that their their angle on the on the situation was not complete. So they were I they welcomed input, and good leaders welcome input. I've seen a lot of leaders though, the bad ones, man, they don't want anybody to speak up because they're afraid they'll say some different what they want to do. And then I got a problem. So don't have the courage to adjust. Courage. You think about courage, everything in leadership, every leadership principle is centered on courage, because you have all the principles and world you don't have courage to do them. They won't get you anywhere. So commitment, character, those are going to be very important. People are watching you, can I trust you? Do you do what you say you'll do? Do you follow up? Do you let good people go? Bad people, people who either have bad behavior, bad performance, are you not dealing with that? Well, in a POW camp you how to deal with that. But you have to deal with it in every organization, if you don't, you're going to lose respect, and you're going to have people on payroll that are not carrying their load. And everybody's gonna wonder when the boss is going to wake up and do his job, so to speak. So on and on, whatever it is, it's building a culture. Well, man, culture was everything to culture that our senior leaders built us. Very simple, very powerful, we did not have to have a manager standing over us telling us what to do. Because we knew what our job was, it was to resist the enemy, to follow the code of conduct, and return with honor. And doubtless broad guidelines, but it was more than enough to keep our behavior. Everybody was doing its best to do that. And if we did that, then whatever it looked like was going to be good. It may look different one day than the next with one personal neck. But when you know, they're beat known yet. Some people are tougher than others. And that's just we came to understand that is reality. So when you were doing in our bass and the people who weren't, we also knew who those who are the people who are very, very few people collaborating, but when you bump that, too, so you know, whether it's accountability, whether it's building your culture, whether it's building a good team and getting the right people or Jim Collins talks about and good to great getting the right people not only on the bus, but in the right seat on the bus, you can have a great person, but then the wrong job, that's not gonna work, you gotta go look at their calendar experience. Everything that, you know, they're 14 lessons and leading with honor. And every one of those is applied right here in the workplace every day. Developing your people, huge got, we had classes and we learn languages and math, sitting in sales with no pencil and paper. But we did in our head and writing on the floor, concrete slab floor with a piece of broken brick tile off the roof with our chalk and we could work out, learn differently, Cocteau Sayer, from a guy from the Naval Academy, who was ultimately came home after the war, and was the Dean of the math department at the Naval Academy. So, you know, there's plenty of talent around and developing those talents is so important developing your people. So I could go on and on. But you get the idea that a principle like that developing your people building cohesive team and clarifying over communicating the message you have to over communicating well, we fought to communicate because they wouldn't let us communicate. So we had to, we had cap codes, we had all sorts of codes had codes, but we had to communicate and you as a leader, you can't just go in your office and shut the door and think everybody knows what they need to be doing and what the mission vision and values is or what the commander's intent is. Those kind of things you got to make sure people understand. Can you clarify what your expectations are and what standards are, but then your also had celebrate? And that's another key principle that a lot of results oriented leaders, they don't see the need to celebrate. I've had him Tell me, Hey, man, we celebrate, you know, this slow down, I don't want to sell? Well, it's just stupid, because good people do need to celebrate your victory. And now they're fired up to go after another one, you know,

Earl Breon
right. Yeah, no, I mean, capturing that moment. I mean, maybe and you you said, you know, you said a lot there. And it's so much value. And thank you for that answer. And, you know, I mean, I keep thinking about all these, there's all these stories from the books that want to reference, but I don't want to give too much of it away, because I really want to encourage anybody who hasn't go get your books. I'll have links to those in the show notes. But but the the overall theme, you know, you mentioned some of the some of the beatings and torture. And one thing that intrigued me and this is, this is what I'm talking I probably the point I referenced the most is, you know, I've read different studies that show like the general population for Vietnam veterans, the PTSD rate was somewhere between 30 to 40%. But for the pow, it was down into three to 4% range. And a lot of that has been attributed to everything you just talked about that sense of belonging, those that keeping your mind sharp, the positive mental attitude. And yet again, organizations today, they just tend to let you know, we're worried about the bottom line, we don't have time to put into these programs. But because you all invested that time in the communication that reaching out and making everybody feel like they belong. It has such a drastic impact on the final outcome of the you know, situation y'all are in. And, and by a lot of accounts, as crazy as the situation was set you all up for a lifetime of success. I mean, obviously not everybody gets achieved the same level of success. But you know, people like you against Senator McCain. And there's, you know, other senators and congressmen and fortune 500 executives that came out of that relatively small pool better off in some cases, obviously, not physically because of the things that you went through, but mentally tough. And that is critical, right?

Col. Ellis
Yeah, it is. You know, there's several pieces in that. One is we had the discipline we had, we had the culture that says we are going to fight and when we're not giving up, we're going to fight and win. And we were very competitive people. Also, we were older, older than Korean War, pow much older and older than your typical soldier in Vietnam, the average age of the POW was 30 and a half. I went in, I just turned 24. So I'm the kid on the block. Most of the people were five or six years older than me. And so that made it you know, older people are more stable, more secure. They've been through some life issues. They didn't just leave home and go to go into military. The other thing is we stayed with our group. And because the American people put so much pressure on the communists about our treatment, they when Hoshi men died in the fall of 69, which I've been there two years then. And then a few months, they stopped new leadership stop the torture. So we had about three years two to three years, where it was more live and let live. And we had time to be decompress and time with people who had been through worse than we had I live with guys had been there seven, seven, half one guy was there, right at eight years. So there was always somebody who'd suffered more nearby to decompress and talk with it. And when you we had to get ready. So in those two years, we started getting rid of bitterness and our anger, getting ourselves ready to go home. Well, these guys today, you know, they're fighting the war, and they get on an airplane fly home. And the next day, they're having lunch and dinner with their family who knows nothing about what they've been through, knows nothing about their buddies, they're separated from their unit them. And they go back into civilian world and they are back even to a military world where they don't, they don't have that same sense of belonging. And so it's, it's the PTSD is quite a bit higher. Ours is like 4%, and the average otherwise for been people who've been through more than three deployments, it's up around 30 40%. So we had a different situation, they are being older, and that strong bond, and then having the two years to decompress. Even World War Two, they put them on boats for months, you know, shipping them back home, it gave them time to decompress some and get ready to go home. But they still had a good bit. So there are a lot of pieces to that. But I think, our strong bond, and we we continue to meet and have reunions to the older age and and attempt to decompress, I'd say with the real issues there for us.

Earl Breon
Well, it's It was almost like you read my mind, because Are you familiar with Lieutenant Colonel David Grossman and his work?

Col. Ellis
Yes, I think so.

Earl Breon
Right? He, he wrote a book on killing. And you almost cited it verbatim as some of the conclusions he came to with the decompression, that the staying with your unit. In some of the things have led to modern PTSD rates being so high, even though comparatively speaking, you know, war is always going to be hell. But comparatively speaking, the way we fight war today should buy most psychologists, accounts be less psychological traumatic than, you know, World War One, World War Two and even through Vietnam. But all the same things. And that was going to be you segue nicely into one of my next questions is, as we have more veterans coming from the Global War on Terror, trying to re integrate back into society, what can an organization do to to help that transition from their standpoint,

Col. Ellis
I think you want to bring them in and get them into the team where they feel part of the team because they're, you know, they've lost their team, so to speak, and bring them in and spend some time helping them get to know people and feel like they're part of the team because that that community, there's nothing better than community, whether you're trying to grow in yourself and leadership, you really need to be involved in community, whether you're in, you know, the 12, step program, community, most everything. All people that are in community live longer than people who are living alone. So community is very important, get them in there and help them to feel valued, give them a sense of purpose, because in the military, you had a sense of purpose of what our job was, and we were serving and something bigger than yourself, those kind of things are very, very important to get them engaged. And don't let them hang out. The worst thing you can do is have people in the organization that are not connected. So the immediate supervisor always needs to be connected to their people. That was another big mistake I made once I had a guy who was broke his leg and couldn't fly. And after a few weeks, and crutch couple of weeks on crutches, his boss was kind of letting him go home and not come to work. And we lost connection with him. And he was already probably, we didn't know this getting into drugs. But I learned that he was actually selling drugs. And he ended up sending him to Leavenworth. And I felt like it might have happened anyway. But we may in his supervisor, we should have demanded him to stay connected in a much better way, we should have made him do something every day. And so I learned a lesson Don't let people be around and not be connected to the unit. Because that's you need to know what's going on.

Earl Breon
Yeah, and I think that's valuable advice, though, having some friends who work for different organizations that help companies recruit and hire veterans. That's the number one complaint is you have a lot of organizations out there that they want to do the right thing they want to help. And so they put on a campaign to hire veterans. And then once they get there, they don't know how to utilize them. And then sense of purposes is critical.

Col. Ellis
Yeah, one of the let me say one other thing about the society today, it's a very different society. I was the youngest sky there, but I grew up mules and farm and feeding the hogs and chopping wood and I was part of the economic family economic system we worked with it was hot or cold. I worked all day long, every summer on the fields either there in the peach packing shed. We grew up understanding hardship. You know, I raised and fed a four H club hog and and shot it and dressing killed in native. These kids growing up today, they just haven't lived in that kind of world where you did those kind of things. And I think those kind of things makes you more resilient. Because we had responsibility. And you know, a 10 year old had a lot of responsibility back in the day is, you know, 20 year old has virtually no responsibility today, for the most part, most young people. And if they do, somebody does try to make them accountable, a 15 year old high school student, the parents come down and raise hell was a school, you know. So it's a tough world, these young kids, the culture and the parenting that goes on today. Just a lot of good about it. But there's a lot of stuff that really inhibits the inner confidence and resilience of young people today.

Earl Breon
I agree. You know, I mean, again, as we were talking beforehand, you know, I served in peacetime, but the whole, the whole foundation of Marine Corps boot camp is to get you comfortable being uncomfortable. And that is Yeah, it's it's, it's a great mindset to have. And I think it's, it's You're right, it's something that a lot of folks are deprived of, because of the social and economic advances our country has had. That that that's just not there anymore. And that's a great point to make. So thank you for making it. Well, sir, we're coming up on, you know, about 35 minutes or so here. And I know you're, you're a busy man, and your time is very valuable. So just working to wrap it up. I always like to ask this question last. Is there anything that we haven't covered, that you would like to share with the audience?

Col. Ellis
Yeah, I have one more thing that we kind of almost touched on. But it goes back to your opening question about the garden of leadership. Hmm. Um, I keep a list. Because I think the challenge of leadership is understanding what's expected, and being able to reconcile yourself to it. So the paradox of leadership, you have to be a generalist and see the big picture, but you need to be a specialist. You have to be a visionary, but you have to be practical. You have to be strategic attack, you have to be competent, but humble, you have to be detached at times, yet you have to be sensitive to others. You have to be tough, yet compassion. You have to have strong opinions. But you have to be a good listener, man, those really, these things don't go together. I mean, this is like walking both sides of the street at the same time. You have to be bold and cautious, quick and patient, independent, the team player, I mean, it just goes on and on. You have to be able to live in chaos, and you have to bring order. You have to be serious, you fun. I mean, it just, you see that you see the challenge of why leadership is a burden. And for some people, you know, they don't want that. Okay, I get it. I had a guy tell me the other day, he said, he said, I don't want to I don't want to be a manager because I don't want to deal with all the people stuff. And I said, You're a wise man, if that's what you know, you're very wise if you don't want to deal with it. Because as a leader, you got to deal with all these things of being tough, being kind and loving people, but being detached when you need to send them to Leavenworth if you have to love and works a federal prison for those that don't know.

Earl Breon
Yeah, that's that's where they say you turn the big rocks into little rocks. That's right. That's nice. Yeah. Well, no, that is great. And you know, that was a again, certainly people. People always asked me, What is the one thing that worried you, as a Marine, I said, you know, and it shocks a lot of people. And I love it, because it ties in with what you were saying is, everybody's got this image, especially of the Marines, that have Gunny Hartman going up and down and just yelling and screaming. And that's what Marine Corps leadership is like. And, you know, they tell you that know, once you get into real leadership, it's like, you have to love your teammates so much that you'll do anything to protect them. But you still have to be willing to put them in harm's way to get the mission done.

Col. Ellis
Yep, exactly.

Earl Breon
And it's just yeah. And that was again, thankfully, that was not something I ever had to face, but it was something that they prepared you for. And people don't associate military leadership and love. But But you do you learn to love those guys more than your own flesh and blood in a lot of instances.

Earl Breon
Yeah. You know, I've read

Col. Ellis
one of my friends who retired Marine Colonel who served in Vietnam, and he talked in his book, he talks about his, he had a PFC or corporal who he says the best point man I've ever had. And he said, you know, the leader can always walk point. And so you have to have point people, somebody, you take turns, but he said, This guy wanted it. And he was good at it. And he said, you know, we loved him, like, you know, but we loved all our people. And I think the Marines actually do the best job of really listening to and respecting their enlisted marine officer. So I think they learned that Well, I think it's a, it's a concern I have had at times from some of the other services where they didn't really deeply care about their enlisted man, as much as a marine through I think they set a good example of that.

Earl Breon
Well, appreciate it. And that's a that's a good note to the end on some. Colonel, thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate it. And we'll have links to all of your information, the books you have out now, what was the title of your book coming up?

Col. Ellis
Well, we're still negotiating that but its leadership behavior, DNA, understanding talents, managing differences, okay? Pretty close behavior. We have an assessment called leadership, heavy DNA, and it points out your strengths and your struggles and each of eight factors. And so the book is about that. But it's also about how to actually use that information to manage and lead differences.

Earl Breon
Okay, well, that's good. We'll keep an eye out for that one and good. And again, thank you for your time. And for listeners. I'll have again, I'll have all these notes in the show notes so you can access these I highly encourage you reading those books and enter a interacting with Colonel Ellis on social media will have some of that content info there. He's very active on linked in. And with that, listeners, thank you for your time. Alright, thanks for tuning in. If you have any comments or questions for me or my guest, or you would like to suggest a future guest, send them to me at burden command@gmail.com Be sure to rate and review us on your podcast platform of choice. I look forward to speaking with you again. In the next episode.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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